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NSW government to drive innovation through new regulation

NSW government to drive innovation through new regulation

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By tlewis ·
January 20 2016

NSW government to drive innovation through new regulation

The NSW government has moved closer to implementing a "sensible" regulatory framework for the peer-to-peer economy, arguing that it will drive innovation and fuel start-ups.

A policy position paper released by the NSW government yesterday - The Collaborative Economy in NSW - stated that by implementing "sensible" and "flexible" regulation, a significant "boost" will be provided to start-ups and entrepreneurs.

NSW minister for innovation and better regulation Victor Dominello said the peer-to-peer or collaborative economy represents significant economic opportunities for the state.

"Digital innovation is transforming the way people do business in every city and every country around the world. The reality is that the collaborative economy is here to stay," Mr Dominello said.

"We are living in the information age and it is vital that government policies embrace new technologies and enable businesses to operate with certainty."

The paper introduced five guiding principles, developed to help government agencies navigate the regulatory challenges created by new business models within the collaborative economy.

These include: support a culture of innovation; ensure regulation is fit for purpose in the digital age; maintain consumer protection and safety; promote competition; adopt an agile approach to government procurement.


Afiniation co-founder and director Jillian Upton welcomed the policy position. She argued that regulating the collaborative economy will result in a lot more clarity and stability for start-ups.

"Start-ups are going to receive a lot more financial and regulatory support. By removing a lot of [red tape] it makes the environment much more conducive for them to actually be more successful," Ms Upton said.

Ms Upton argued that by introducing flexible regulation, a network will also be created between companies, individual experts and government. This environment will be supportive towards innovators and likely result in further business innovation.

In a report commissioned by the NSW Department of Finance, Services and Innovation in October last year, Deloitte Access Economics found that the growth of the collaborative economy in NSW has been fast - contributing $504 million to the NSW economy last year.

Moreover, the report said that the key businesses within the collaborative economy can be found within the financial services sector.

"We recognise that Sydney has an advantage in financial services, which could see significant development," the report said.

"Nonetheless, as the activity grows, the risks associated with financial services means that appropriate regulatory oversight will likely be more important in this sector than any other."

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